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You will write a consent letter so that potential participants have all the information about your study in one place and can make an informed decision as to whether they want to participate in your study. A consent letter is just one part of the informed consent process. Informed consent is an ongoing process that begins during recruitment and continues throughout the study.
How do I collect consent?
If you are engaging with participants in real-time (interviews, focus groups, observations, etc.), you may send potential participants a copy of the consent letter before you meet with them. You then must do the following:
Set aside time to read through the consent letter with each participant. As you read through, remind participants that they do not have to participate if they do not want to, they can skip any question they do not want to answer, they can skip any activity they do not want to participate in, and they can stop participating at any time.
Give participants an opportunity to ask questions about your study.
Ask participants for verbal consent (e.g., "Do you still want to participate in this study?"). For Exempt and Expedited studies, the NCU IRB does not require you to collect participant signatures or any written documentation of consent (if you are using a site IRB, they may require participant signatures). For more information, watch the webinar below: